Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Battle of Honey Springs, Oklahoma - Part Ten
This is a view of Elk Creek from the Civil War bridge site on the Honey Springs battlefield.
As the main Confederate line crumbled, the bridge and two adjacent fords became critical objectives for the attacking Union forces. Southern troops waged a fierce fight for control of the crossings and heavy fighting took place along the northern (left) bank of the creek here.
By this stage of the battle, however, things were going badly for the Confederate defenders. Once his main line broke, General Cooper was not able to put enough men into position fast enough to hold back the Union advance. The battle degenerated into more of a fighting retreat as Southern officers tried to hold back Blunt's oncoming force long enough to withdraw most of their men across Elk Creek and save or destroy their stockpiles of supplies to the rear at Honey Springs Depot.
The bridge over Elk Creek no longer stands, but an interpretive trail leads from the tour road to the remains of the earthen causeway that led to the wooden bridge. The area is heavily wooded and a series of interpretive panels help visitors understand the nature of the fighting in the vicinity.
Our series on the Battle of Honey Springs, Oklahoma, will continue.